3 acting magistrates to help plug court gaps

| 25/02/2014

CNS): As a result of Cayman’s growing criminal case load, three new acting magistrates have been appointed to the local bench who will be able to sit in summary court cases when the need arises. Philippa McFarlane-Ebanks (left), Angelyn Hernandez and Adam Roberts were sworn in by the governor on Friday (21 February), officials said, ahead of the training programme which will begin in the coming weeks. The acting magistrates, who were welcomed by the chief justice, will start training in the coming weeks and will soon be presiding in both criminal and civil matters in the lower courts.

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie said he was delighted by the appointment of three very capable, experienced and highly regarded professionals from within the local community. He said they would bring a wealth of practical experience “to the difficult and demanding” task.

“Our summary courts are exceptionally busy courts and it is a great asset to be able to support the full time magistrates with five acting magistrates, who can be called on as the need arises,” he said.

McFarlane Ebanks has been an Associate at Kobre and Kim (Cayman) law firm since December 2012. She previously served for three years as a Senior Associate with Bodden & Bodden Litigation. Prior to that, she was a Crown Prosecutor in the UK for eight years. A graduate of Dalhousie University, with a BA in political science, McFarlane studied law at the University of Liverpool, graduating with first class honours. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales following studies at the Inns of Court School of Law.

“I am very proud to have been appointed as an Acting Magistrate of the summary court, and will do my utmost to serve the Cayman Islands to the best of my ability,” she said.

Hernandez (right), who comes with almost 24 years of public and private practice experience, added that it was a “humbling appointment” and she was honoured and grateful to be given the opportunity to serve. She holds an LLB from the University of the West Indies and a Master’s in Law from Queen Mary's College, University of London.

A Crown Counsel prior to entering private practice with Quin & Hampson, she was a partner there for 15 years. For the past five years she served in her own practice, Hernandez & Co.

Roberts, who has been serving as Legal Adviser to the Financial Reporting Authority, has served as a Crown Counsel for most of his working career.  “I am thrilled to have been invited to sit as Acting Magistrate,” Roberts said. “I have spent nearly all my adult life in the criminal justice system and have made Cayman my home since 1991. I see this as a way of using my experience and for me to give back to the community.”

Before starting with the Financial Reporting Unit in 2008 Roberts served with the Cayman Island Government Legal Department as a prosecutor, joining as a prosecutor in 1991. He was appointed Senior Crown Counsel (Criminal) in 1998 and holds an LLB from Manchester University.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What 500k? what does this comment mean?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Proud of you Philippa! WCA has prepared alot of fine Caymanians I must say! So proud!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I know Angelyn and Adam and I'd say they've made some fine choices.  They are smart and quick and not easily fooled, especially Angie.  Congrats.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What 500k?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well done to everyone.  Use your common sense and exercise judgment to the best of your abilities.  When in doubt, don't forget to pray for guidance.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to the three appointees.  Good to see that local skills are being harnessed rather than importing others who are less familiar with the local system and culture. I wish them all much success.

  7. Anonymous says:

    500k in salaries, just like that…Where is the FFR?

    • Anonymous says:

      Which is probably around half the amount currently being paid out for legal aid as a result of delayed trials. So probably money well spent, wouldn't you say?  

    • Anonymous says:

      My understanding is that the Acting Magistrates are not full-time salaried employees with benefits. They get a flat fee for each day that they preside in Summary Court and they are called upon to fill in when other Magistrates are on leave or when there is space in the rooms available to the court for an additional Summary Court session.

    • Anonymous says:

      What 500k? What does this comment mean?